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Within our BNI Networking Meetings, Diversity is our Strength

by BNI New Zealand

BNI’s Mission Statement:

BNI is a positive and professional referral marketing program that enables members to develop long-term, meaningful relationships with quality professionals.

One of the strengths of our BNI meeting is that it brings together people from all walks of life, different trades and professions. The more diverse our BNI chapter is, the more opportunities there are for referrals.

Dr. Ivan Misner, Founder of BNI has said that anything that takes us away from our mission is a distraction.

Why do we Avoid Politics and Religion When Networking?

It is a longstanding principle of BNI that we don’t debate political and/or religious viewpoints at our BNI meetings. We are always seeking to provide a positive and professional environment where all people feel comfortable and welcome.

If debated these topics are likely to divide people and perhaps make some people feel uncomfortable. If our members or visitors feel uncomfortable, they are less likely to do business with us or participate in future BNI meetings.

Other less obvious examples that might be uncomfortable are the use of sexist comments, rude jokes or right now discussions about our personal views on vaccination. All have the potential to cause offence. Let’s keep them out of our BNI meeting.

Diversity is our Strength

We should think carefully before expressing or openly airing our opinions in BNI. Particularly around divisive and controversial topics, even if we personally believe them to be self-evident truths.

Our BNI meeting is not a forum for promoting, debating or forcing our own political, religious or personal views.

In BNI, our diversity is our strength, so let’s hold onto it, embrace it and protect it by keeping some opinions to ourselves. We must be able to do business with people who hold different views and similarly don’t want to stop others from wanting to do business with us.

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